Not all Gardening is success stories about how a planted seed turned into hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables..
I feed my plants from my composters which utilize all of our Green Waste, Wood Chips, Grass Clippings, etc. It's Hot here and they are black and they get pretty warm. I'm lazy to turn them regularly, and I do wish I had proper rotating composters, but this is what I got. Turns out that my composters have been a source of Fire Ants.. and since I feed alllll my plants from my composters, I have helped to spread Fire Ants throughout my entire property. If you have ever had to deal with Fire Ant you know about how bad they can be. The bits, the itching, the little sores..
If you think you might have Fire Ants, a quick test is to put some peanut butter out and come back an hour later. Here in Hawaii it's a big problem. But there are also some good resources to deal with it. https://littlefireants.com/resource-center/
The short of the long. The best way to go is to use Baits. The worker ants will bring this back to the colony and the amount of new ants will go down. Contact or Barrier treatments are a quick fix, but the best way to really address the problem long term is with baiting.
My regimen moving forward is:
Taller Trees like Bannanas etc over 6-8' tall and into Vegetable Gardens: Mixing up a Gel to spray with a spray bottle of Tango, Oil, Peanut Butter, and Xanthum Gum. Spray this every 6 weeks. Takes about 30 mins total to mix it up and spray.
Areas around Smaller Trees outside drip line, and Grass, Shrubs, etc. : Granular dispersal with spreader of Amdro Ant Bait. Every 6 weeks. Takes about 30 mins.
I'm going to do this for 12 weeks. After that I will spray a barrier of Orange Oil/Soap/Molasses/Water around the perimeter of the house, and continue the 6 week Amdro and Tango application for another 6 months.
I'll use Orange Oil for spot treatment of any ants I find in house.
Until I have got things under control I will not share any plants with friends. I will be extra careful in washing fruits, veggies before sharing with friends.